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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

The Arlington-based mobile app Sandboxx plans to roll out a new chatroom feature for military recruits and their families, in an attempt to increase communication and minimize dropouts.

Sandboxx plans to introduce “Muster” within a month.

The chatroom, which aims to mimic Slack, is for individual military recruiting stations for recruiters and new recruits in the delayed entry program, Sam Meek, app founder and veteran, told ARLnow.

The goal of Muster is to make sure that its users would be “getting that comradery experience in our military journey before basic training,” Meek said. Moreover, this new feature aims to help military recruiters measure the engagement of recruits in those programs.

Sandboxx “Muster” mobile app (courtesy Sandboxx)

The mobile app, profiled by ARLnow in 2016, is a communications app that lets family and friends write and send letters to their loved ones in basic training, as well as allowing military members to connect with other units.

Other recently added features include the digital wallet. That addition allows military members to receive gift cards from relatives and friends for purchases at the military exchange stores during basic training and beyond.

The new feature is an attempt to bring back the fellowship among new recruits that diminished during the pandemic.

Prior to Covid hitting, “a lot of our folks in the recruiting stations would get together once a week or once a month, and they work out and they talk about the ethos of the military journey,” Meek said.

However, once the pandemic arrived, those meetings disappeared. “Sandboxx is bringing back this kind of digital comradery,” he said. The new feature would also allow families and friends of each recruit to form a chat group in the app, where Sandboxx would upload information about the military.

“Not only can [users] read that, but they can communicate it and talk about it directly in their Muster chat,” Meek added.

Keeping new recruits engaged and reducing dropout rates are major goals for Sandboxx.

“One of the things we’re doing is making sure that we can keep really high engagement and we can help those recruiters keep those young 18-year-old and 19-year-old men and women in the delayed entry program and make sure they shift to basic training,” Meek said.

He added that preventing recruits from dropping out is “the biggest uphill battle” military recruiters are facing currently. Recruitment is also another challenge due to the pandemic and high employment rates.

Currently, the U.S. military is not recruiting enough people into most of its service branches. The Department of Defense has only attracted a total rate of 85% recruits across the Army, Navy, the Marine Corps, Air Force and Space Force in fiscal year 2022.

Sandboxx is expected to keep up the new service member’s interest in the military by communicating with each recruit’s family and friends about benefits of joining the military.

“When that individual, if they do get cold feet and they start to get a little nervous about the military journey, the friends and family around them can assure them that this was a fabulous decision,” Meek said.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.

A Rosslyn-based online interior design startup is celebrating one year and more than 100 projects.

Deazly, launched in July 2021, brings professional design to homeowners in an online design studio. The company matches homeowners looking to renovate their kitchen or bathrooms with professional designers, who work with them to create 3D concepts of the space for a flat fee.

Homeowners can then see how their room will look before committing to a project.

“For most homeowners, hiring an interior designer can feel intimidating,” CEO and Founder Ketan Doiphode, a licensed architect, said in a news release. “It is a difficult process to navigate.”

So, he said he built Deazly to bridge the knowledge gap on the homeowner side and technological gap on the design side. His goal is to provide affordable, hassle-free design services. And for designers, it’s an opportunity to work 100% remotely.

Deazly clients tend to be 30 to 45 years old, tech-savvy and want good design completed at a fast pace, Doiphode said. And 60% of the company’s work comes directly from contractor partners and remodeling companies, the release said.

Contractors have a competitive advantage by having a design partner.

“The Deazly process provides the consultation needed to work through style preferences and functional requirements,” Doiphode said. “Highly realistic 3D designs and a product list ensure the homeowner and contractor can work together to make the design of these high-use spaces a reality.”

Ketan Doiphode, founder of Deazly (courtesy of Deazly)

While there are other e-design businesses, Deazly specializes in kitchens and bathrooms — both generally complex renovation projects that greatly contribute to resale value of homes. When the startup first launched, it offered just bathroom design but in January, the company added kitchen design services, as well.

Deazly’s flat fee structure, listed on its website as a range between $700 to $2,300 based on the extent of services, is something the company says sets it apart from traditional designers’ fees.

The Deazly team has seven U.S.-based interior designers and eight support team members in India, the release said.

“I see Deazly as an example of the modern workforce,” says Doiphode. “Designers often work long hours at firms and the conceptual, more creative part of the design process is led by directors and principals. At Deazly, the designers are involved in the visual and creative aspects. The 100% virtual team structure allows designers to create a flexible schedule. I can match homeowners with the right designer based on the designer’s availability.”

Doiphode was inspired to start the company from his 18 years of architecture and project management experience. He worked for the brand design team at Marriott International, where he worked on lifestyle brands that included Delta Hotels, Sheraton, Marriott Hotels, Aloft, and AC hotels. He has also worked as an interior architect for the firms SOM and Forrest Perkins.

Doiphode hopes to grow the Deazly design team and is working on a new version of the website that will add detailed project milestones and a two-way communication platform for homeowners’ remodeling and renovation process.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

Dozens of tech startups in the D.C. region were named “Red Hot Companies” at an event in Rosslyn last week.

During the two-hour DCA Live event, representatives from 41 startups nominated by the tech community as companies on the rise mingled with potential investors from banks, venture capital firms, nonprofits and others while enjoying drinks and various refreshments. The event was held at the Sands Capital office at 1000 Wilson Blvd.

DCA Live founder Doug Anderson gave each of the companies honored a framed certificate during a short award ceremony.

“This region has incredible talent, entrepreneurship and innovation, and I love how Doug is starting to galvanize it post-Covid,” said Scott Frederick, the managing partner of Sands Capital, in a speech. “It’s enormously important what he’s doing.”

Companies on the “Red Hot Companies” list in a group photo at the DCA Live event (staff photo by Mavis Chan)

Participants at the event said they enjoyed the networking opportunities it offered. Jeannie Plew, of SemaConnect, said she hoped to rub elbows with industry and technology leaders to learn best practices.

SemaConnect is a Maryland-based electric vehicle charging company that was recently acquired by Blink Charging for $200 million in February. This is the startup’s first time being on the Red Hot Companies list.

“I think it’s exciting because we are a red hot company, we’ve experienced high growth in the past 13 months,” Plew said.

Jennifer O’Daniel, a senior director at the nonprofit seed and early-stage investment fund Virginia Venture Partners of the Commonwealth’s Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation, believed the event was “a great place to meet entrepreneurs.” She was a member of the host committee for the event.

Meanwhile, her organization has also invested in three of this year’s Red Hot Companies — the Ballston-based food catering service HUNGRY, the Ballston-based restaurant management software company MarginEdge and Crystal City-based customer service management software ChurnZero. Her organization specializes in investing in technology, life science and cleantech companies.

O’Daniel characterized the three startups as “tentpole companies,” which she described as companies that could “create wealth amongst its employees” and “start additional startups.”

People who went to work for startups at an early stage might later have the means, desire and managerial know-how to start their own venture, O’Daniel noted, thus helping to spur on “the next generation of startup companies.”

The event also attracted non-technology startups. Michael Gavin, co-founder of a new D.C.-based advertisement agency Uniic Marketing Solutions, said he was there for the networking opportunities.

Gavin said his company works with startups that, despite being technology-forward, often find out about the agency through decidedly old-fashioned (but effective) means: personal connections.

“Most of our clients so far — we have five within the year — they’ve all come from word of mouth,” he said. “If we can just carry that on, then we’re pretty much set.”

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

Dozens of technology startups from the D.C. region are set to participate in a networking event for “Red Hot Companies” on Wednesday (July 20).

This is the seventh year that DCA Live, an events company, is holding “Red Hot Companies,” recognizing fast-growing startups. It is set to be held at the rooftop of Sands Capital Management, at 1000 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.

Among the 41 participating startups, a number of them are based in Arlington, such as the fitness software company SweatWorks from Ballston, the marketing company for Amazon businesses Amify and the wireless communications company Federated Wireless, according to the event’s webpage.

DCA Live has planned a short program to congratulate the startups in attendance and to thank the co-hosts of the event, then participants are set to network among themselves.

“I have found that almost nobody really wants a program at all, people just want to talk to each other,” Doug Anderson, DCA Live founder, said.

Other organizations and companies co-hosting the event include Arlington Economic Development, Marymount University, the accounting firm KPMG and various venture capital firms. ARLnow is the event’s media partner.

DCA Live chose to host the event in Arlington because Rosslyn is convenient to the “main centers of business life in the region,” including downtown D.C., Tysons and Bethesda. Moreover, the tall buildings in Rosslyn provide a “great setting” for events, Anderson said.

“You just get a great view of D.C. and all the iconic monuments,” he said.

A previous DCA Live ‘Red Hot Companies’ event (courtesy of Doug Anderson)

DCA Live chose the companies based on nominations from the technology community. Some of the companies selected this year are older, like the energy management company GridPoint which was founded in 2003, while others have only a few years under their belts, such as ShiftMed, an app developed in 2019.

Although DCA Live did not give out specific guidelines to nominate companies for the event, it hoped to look for startups that have shown “significant growth, momentum, energy, innovation, new products, new capital, new employees,” Anderson said.

“We really also try to collectively promote the region and celebrate the tech ecosystem here,” he added.

The local startup community as a whole generally caters to other businesses or the government and only a few of them target individual consumers, Anderson noted.

“The one common thing around D.C. high growth companies is they’re solving big problems, whether it’s cybersecurity, whether it’s education, energy, healthcare, health IT,” he said. “They’re not doing [consumer] apps, they’re not doing consumer websites. We’re just not known for that around here.”

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

During the pandemic, people relied on technology for everything from food delivery to working from home. And now, people want that kind of convenience for fitness, says a Ballston-based startup.

The past couple of years have put a spotlight on what SweatWorks has been working toward, company spokeswoman Claire Evans says.

“It kind of highlighted how much everyone needed to do more outside of the gym, how connected fitness, how that whole ecosystem came together and we’ve been working with brands on that whole omnichannel approach to connected fitness,” she said. “So everything from how do you keep your members engaged when they’re at home but also at the gym, what are those touch points and what does that look like for a business.”

SweatWorks CEO Mohammed Iqbal often says that a workout lasts for an hour a day but there are 23 other hours to consider how to improve fitness and wellness, Evans said.

SweatWorks CEO Mohammed Iqbal (courtesy of SweatWorks)

Working with brands like SoulCycle, Equinox, CityRow and others, SweatWorks tailors tech for fitness companies, providing everything from membership insights to connected fitness software.

“We don’t want to be a one box solution,” Evans said. “We don’t just want to say ‘this is the answer’… That is what really makes us really unique.”

SweatWorks has built everything from software to analyze membership data, like how often someone is using a fitness program and how to improve those numbers, to providing technology that gives users real-time workout data, like heart rate and recovery information. It builds everything from hardware to software, like the tablet on Beachbody bike by Myx, where the device and all its content was created by SweatWorks, Evans said.

“We often say [clients] come to us and they think they know what they want and they’re like ‘we need this,'” Evans said, but they go through a process with the company to figure out their needs. “Then we will deliver on an output and it’s not always what they really think they need and then we can actually pick lots of other elements they might require.”

The completely remote company just celebrated its 10th anniversary, and has grown to 165 employees internationally, working with about 15 clients, Evans said. SweatWorks has seen 3% revenue growth over last year and 60% compounding growth since 2018, she said.

And it was recently named a finalist for DCA Live’s Red Hot Companies 2022, which recognizes the region’s fastest growing companies. (An event recognizing the Red Hot honorees is scheduled for next Wednesday, July 20, in Rosslyn.)

“For us being on the list is awesome, I mean it’s the recognition on a very local level,” Evans said. “It means a lot, Moh lives in Arlington, he loves living there. He’s really passionate about being in that area.”

Iqbal started the company through his passion for health and fitness and is “totally driven by how you can use data to make meaningful change in your health and wellness,” Evans said.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

Ben Solomon didn’t have a STEM background when he graduated from Princeton University.

But now he runs a company that brings deep technology — such as artificial intelligence, robotics and other innovations — into the marketplace.

Solomon, the founder of FedTech, graduated with a history degree and worked as a news researcher for NBC Sports and Bloomberg News. But he wanted to work closer with the government and technology.

“I always have this motivation to be working more closely with government and partnering with technology,” Solomon said. “I ended up coming to business school down here in University of Maryland.”

That was the place where Solomon met staff that commercialized technology, which inspired him to start Ballston-based FedTech.

FedTech is an accelerator that provides programs for startups working in deep technology to found their companies and put their products into the commercial market.

“Before I started doing work in this field, I was surprised to see that the U.S. government is really the biggest research and development investor in history,” Solomon said. “A lot of times those technologies can be really breakthrough and game changing for both commercial industry and even government use.”

FedTech was founded in 2015 after being a part of the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps program, according to its website. It also has offices in Austin, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, Solomon said.

Solomon based his company in Arlington because of its proximity to many government agencies, big companies like Amazon and local universities, graduates of which the company would “love to hire” as much as possible, he said.

Moreover, Arlington has large office spaces, like the company’s new 9000-square-foot office suite at 4401 Wilson Blvd, that are close to D.C. Solomon added that Arlington also has a “really good social scene.”

“We spent a lot of time as a company going to the bars and the restaurants for kind of team building,” he said.

The company connects smaller private businesses with bigger corporations and government agencies that can use their technology through partnerships.

It hosted a three-day technology summit for the U.S. Army in 2020, which showcased novel technologies that the Army could potentially use.

Will Dickson, Lead of FedTech’s accelerator program, at the technology summit in 2020 (courtesy of FedTech)

FedTech is currently working with around 200 startups and these partnerships are “deeper than an investor or like a Shark Tank-type of investor,” Solomon said.

His company not only runs programs for startups that provide mentorship and training, but it also seeks out new technologies still being researched and brings those to entrepreneurs.

“If we find an invention in a research lab, we’ll go and recruit the founding team who can license that technology out of the research lab and create a new company around it, and we help that company be successful,” Solomon said.

FedTech also helps startups find customers and access capital. Its working relationships with startups can sometimes last for years, Solomon said.

Past winners of the Army’s TechSearch competition held at FedTech (courtesy of FedTech)

FedTech usually does not own any stakes of the startups benefiting from its programs. It instead receives contracts from government departments like the Department of Defense and NASA, as well as other corporations like consumer goods company Proctor & Gamble and defense company BAE Systems.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.

During the pandemic, Erik Neighbour wanted a fun way to get his friends together where they could stay socially distanced.

So, the Clarendon area resident created a scavenger hunt of sorts, using riddles to explore D.C. monuments. He put the riddles and challenges into an online form so they could use their phones to play.

“They liked it so much that I thought maybe there’s something more here,” he said.

He continued to refine and develop the game into its own app, called  Capital Clues, using coding skills that he first learned creating a financial literacy app. About 100 users downloaded it during a six-month beta testing period and it launched for the public to use two weeks ago, he said.

Users play Capital Clues in D.C. (courtesy Erik Neighbour)

The app provides riddles that guide users from one monument to the next. At each location, there are a series of questions that challenge the user to use observational skills to discover things about the monument. If you don’t get the question, there are hints, but it also can be skipped.

The answer page for each series of questions gives additional insights about what they found. The app has two courses, one from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, and another that goes around the Tidal Basin, from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

When he first created the game for his friends, Neighbour used a third party service, but when he started to actually develop an app for the game, functionality around scoring and timing were important to him.

“People are motivated by certain things in games,” he said. “Some people really like the adventure of finding things, other people like myself are really competitive and I’m really motivated by score and want to know how I did on a leaderboard. And so with this app, we’re able to cater to multiple gaming personas and doing so in a branded experience, which has a seamless user experience.”

During the beta period, he said he was also focused on making sure the questions were challenging but still fun. He said he spent almost every other weekend watching people he recruited to play the game, which also led to an adjustment in how users were timed.

And while Neighbour said there are other competitors for scavenger hunt apps, including one called Let’s Roam, Capital Clues has questions that make you think outside of the box, sort of like an escape room experience, which inspired him.

The logo for Capital Clues (courtesy of Erik Neighbour)

Over the next year, he said he’ll evaluate how the app performs and how people react to it. If there is enough interest, he would consider expanding it, he said.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

Longtime Arlington resident Jay Hedley flew A-10 fighter jets for 12 years in the Maryland Air National Guard.

When flying missions, his plane would track and record what he could see in front of him, as well as the targeting of missiles using a heads-up display. He and other pilots would review the video footage together after flying a mission to debrief.

“So then the idea came,” he said, “why don’t we train athletes the same way we use technology like this from the jet?”

So he founded HeadVantage, which equips athletes with mini cameras and eye-tracking technology. The HeadVantage camera can be fitted under the bill of a baseball cap and track the eye movements of the wearer. It can also measure the diameter of the wearer’s pupils a hundred times per second, Hedley said.

Apart from tracking eye movements, the camera also records high-definition, stabilized video footage that can be streamed live and shown on TV.

“One way you can think of it is, where GoPro can’t go,” said Hedley, distinguishing HeadVantage from the popular action camera brand.

The HeadVantage camera is fitted into a pair of golf glasses (via SportsTech)

Because of the camera’s eye-tracking and streaming abilities, HeadVantage can provide unique content to sports fans, said Jenna Kurath, the head of Comcast NBCU SportsTech.

“To be able to see it from the perspective of the athlete, to get into the mind of the athlete through the eye-tracking of those split-second decisions that they’re making,” she said, “this is going to bring new fan-engagement content to the forefront.”

With this camera, sports commentators will be able to analyze an athlete’s performance from their viewpoint.

“Oftentimes our commentators will do the replay and say, ‘How did they do this?'” Kurath said. “Now this is the ability to kind of see it through the eyes of the athlete to really get a little bit more into their mind.”

Arlington-based HeadVantage was selected as part of Comcast NBCUniversal’s SportsTech Accelerator in 2022, a program that connected 10 startups with different program partners, such as NBC Sports, World Wrestling Entertainment and NASCAR. HeadVantage was chosen from among over 800 applicants around the world, according to a news release from NBCUniversal.

Since joining the program, HeadVantage has been prototyping the camera to be used in golf, fitting it in golfers’ glasses.

Instructors in NBC Sports’ golf shows, such as School of Golf‘s Martin Hall and others in the company’s subscribers-only GolfPass content, have used HeadVantage cameras, said Kurath, who also ran the startup program. The camera will be used in a few celebrity golf tournaments in the summer, she noted.

Founder Jay Hedley stands at the HeadVantage station at a Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator event (courtesy photo)

Hedley founded the startup in 2020, according to his LinkedIn page. Currently, his main customer is NBC Sports and his main goal for HeadVantage this year is to get the camera used in NBC golf coverage.

“I’d love to get embedded in NBC golf this year, maybe with baseball this year,” Hedley said, “So baseball and golf will be the two sports we’d focus on this year.”

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.

A Ballston-based tech firm is on the “cutting and bleeding” edge of supply chain issues facing the country, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said during a visit to the company late last month.

Supply chains have become an international focus, with the shortage of personal protective equipment at the beginning of the pandemic, competition in manufacturing computer chips, and global impacts of Russian goods bans fresh in people’s minds.

“Knowing how supply chains work, this has become the buzzword of the time,” Warner said in an employee town hall at Interos — the first private Arlington startup to reach a billion-dollar valuation. Warner’s visit to the company was “to highlight Northern Virginia’s growing role as a hub of tech innovation for national security,” his staff said.

Sen. Mark Warner and Interos CEO Jennifer Bisceglie at an Interos employee town hall (staff photo by Pia Kramer)

Work that companies like Interos do, identifying companies’ suppliers, is particularly important as the war in Ukraine continues, Warner said. He’s working on legislation that would mandate public sector companies of a certain size to map out their supply chains, he said. The timeliest measures would focus on identifying Russian companies, as countries ban imports on its goods and raw materials.

“If you can’t go upstream and find where that product originates and who’s in the supply chain, you’re not going to be able to bring the full power of sanctions on a country,” he said.

Interos uses artificial intelligence to map out the suppliers of their clients and assess the risk scores of each. Its platform is used by federal agencies and Fortune 500 companies.

Interos Founder and CEO Jennifer Bisceglie said there is “a very good environment” for Warner’s proposed legislation.

“A lot of companies are truly trying to understand where they are connected to Russia and not being able to comply with sanctions,” she said, adding that companies “want to be able to answer these questions.”

Interos Logo (staff photo by Pia Kramer)

Bisceglie added that Interos could provide supply chain knowledge to those companies.

“It’s all about understanding what’s happening in the sub-tiers of your supply chain and that’s where we help,” she said.

Bisceglie said Interos raised $100 million last year to work on getting more data faster that would provide “more interesting and pro-active insights” to their customers. These new data include a supplier’s cybersecurity and financial information.

“So this is all about speed, about unique datasets, and really to solve global transparency challenges on a global scale,” she said.

Warner also called China “the threat of our time” at the town hall.

“The challenge going forward is going to be who wins the technology struggle for the 21st century,” he said.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.

Two companies that help grocers and shoppers get the best deal have reached a deal of their own.

Canadian artificial intelligence company Fobi is set to acquire Basket, an Arlington-based startup’s grocery pricing app that lets users compare in-store and online prices for items, according to a press release.

Basket, which was developed by Grocery Shopping Labs, provides its data to product manufacturers and retailers so they can understand shopping trends, such as how often shoppers search for products at different stores and what drives purchasing decisions. Fobi, based in Vancouver, provides insights from retail, sports, entertainment and tourism data to its clients, which include large companies across the globe.

“Basket has always been about taking the blindfold off shoppers to help them save money and time, and simultaneously providing shopper insights to some of the top [consumer packaged goods] CPG brands and retailers,” Grocery Shopping Labs CEO Neil Kataria said in the release. “Now, together with Fobi we can significantly grow our audience, delivering more value for shoppers and more value for the CPG brands we work with.”

Tech startup Basket co-founder Andy Ellwood talks at an event marking its move to Arlington in 2016 (file photo)

Basket was started in 2014 in D.C. and moved to Clarendon in 2016. The company raised $12 million in capital and has had hundreds of thousands of users.

Basket allows people to scan barcodes for their favorite products to create smart shopping lists that compares prices for products across various local stores, online shops and delivery companies, as well as the cost of the entire list across all of the stores. Basket’s data combined with Qples by Fobi Grocery Coupon Network app will give users a better experience and optimize cost savings for the brands, the release says.

“Shoppers can simply scan the product barcode and see if there are any coupons available for that product from Qples by Fobi, and if there are, they can be applied automatically at checkout,” according to the release.

The idea for Basket came to Kataria when he was a child, clipping coupons with his family and comparing his grocery list across five stores near him, he previously told ARLnow. As an adult, he realized the amount of money he was wasting by not comparing prices and began to aggregate data generated by shoppers.

The app built a community of shoppers who shared prices from grocery stores across the U.S.

“I’m excited by the opportunity we have together with Fobi to transform the grocery business with pricing visibility and shopper data, but I’m also excited about taking this transformation to other industries next,” Kataria said in the release.

The acquisition of Basket is well-timed, as inflation rises and manufacturers and consumers are even more interested in saving money, Fobi CEO Rob Anson said in the release.

“This deal immediately grows our revenue streams and immediately grows our addressable audience and the amount of shopper data that we have access to,” he said. “Our combined AI & Big Data capabilities will now enable a new era of personalized marketing at scale with unprecedented data analytics, and valuable insights as to campaign performance and measurement for the retail ecosystem.”

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.

Cybercriminals are not the stereotypical teen in their mom’s basement wearing a hoodie.

Cyber crime has become a highly organized business, with people specialized in different parts of the process, nonprofit Cyber Threat Alliance President and CEO Michael Daniel said. And cyber threats, such as ransomware, have exploded as people are more connected to the internet and can move money more easily.

“We’ve entered a stage where cyber crime poses a very significant threat to the global economy and the global system, equivalent to what normally would only be associated with nation-states,” Daniel said. “And so that’s a big challenge and a big change.”

Based in Clarendon, Cyber Threat Alliance enables cybersecurity companies to share threat information with each other quickly to prevent and respond to these attacks.

“No individual company has a complete view of what’s going on in cyberspace, so in order to be able to protect your customers, or work with the government, law enforcement agencies or others to help disrupt the bad guys, you need more information,” Daniel said.

Cyber Threat Alliance CEO Michael Daniel speaks during a presentation (courtesy of Cyber Threat Alliance)

People who work in cybersecurity policy talk about information sharing a lot, but there wasn’t anyone dedicated to it for the industry until the nonprofit was formed five years ago with its six founding members — Palo Alto, Fortinet, Check Point, Cisco, McAfee and Symantec.

“The leaders of those companies really understood that talking about information sharing in cybersecurity, well, everybody talks about it, but it’s hard to do,” said Daniel, who worked in federal government for 20 years, including as former President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity adviser.

As for locating in Arlington, where Daniel and his wife had settled, the decision was simple.

“This is a great place for getting started and working in the cybersecurity industry because the Washington, D.C. area is the hub for policy and other kinds of development,” he said. “And this is really home for us. It’s not really more complex than that.”

Now, CTA has 34 member companies, which are required to share a minimum amount of threat intelligence each week, and employs seven people. Its members are headquartered in 11 countries around the world and run the gamut of household company names, like Cisco, to relatively smaller cybersecurity companies.

There’s a list of companies in the pipeline to become members, which opens up possibilities for hiring additional staff and offering more services, Daniel said.

In the upcoming year, CTA hopes to add technological capability to its sharing platform and is involved in projects, including one with the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity to understand the criminal ecosystem so it can support government action against cybercriminals.

“Ransomware is a huge problem, cyber crime is a big problem, and it’s something we need to really tackle if we want people to be able to use the digital world in the way that we want,” he said. “Cyber threats are not a problem that we’re going to solve but it’s a problem that we’re going to have to manage. We are building for the long term.”

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